From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2–Rhyming text and large watercolor-and-pencil-crayon illustrations tell the story of Farmer Dale, his old red truck, and animals on their way to a talent show in town. An accommodating dog, the farmer stops to give everyone a lift, no matter the creature's disposition or size. First he meets a bossy cow who demands that he "Mooove over!" Next to join them is a singing sheep, and then a skating pig and an accordion-playing goat. At last the load proves too much for the old pickup. The commotion over what to do is settled when Bossy Cow jumps behind the wheel and Farmer Dale pushes the overloaded vehicle. Eventually everyone helps, and the bovine admits that Farmer Dale should steer. Once again the loaded truck rumbles on down to town. With quick brush-and-pencil strokes, the illustrations portray the not-always-flattering human characteristics of the animals, painting additional humor into the story. Particularly revealing is the spread showing the arguing animals crowding next to the thoughtful Farmer Dale. This book will entertain children both at storytimes and one-on-one. –Carolyn Janssen, Children's Learning Center of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH
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PreS-Gr. 1. The cozy "always room for one more" theme never seems to get old, and Wheeler's jolly, rhythmic text sets a fine pace for the story of Farmer Dale's truck that takes a cow, sheep, pig, and goat on board before it breaks down: "Farmer Dale's red pickup truck / stood stranded in the road. / 'It seems you have a problem,' / a cocky rooster crowed." Indeed. Fortunately, all the animals pitch in and get the truck moving again: "The pickup bounced and shimmied. / It groaned and squeaked and wheezed. / It spit a thankful cloud of smoke / and started with a sneeze." Farmer Dale eventually makes it into town with his load of hay--and the talent contest banner on the last page explains what all the town-bound farm animals were doing with accordions, skates, and the like. Bates' expressive, action-packed watercolor illustrations of the overloaded rig recall those of the popular Sheep in a Jeep series, and youngsters may be equally captivated by this familiar, cheerful ride. Karin Snelson
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